USPS Automated Package Verification (APV) System

USPS introduced its Automated Package Verification (APV) system in 2018, and since then, this system has improved how USPS handles and delivers your barcoded domestic packages.

Note

This article explains what the USPS APV system is and how it can apply to your USPS packages. To learn more about post-shipment billing adjustments in general (from USPS or any other carrier) review our Post-Shipment Billing Adjustments help article.

The APV system evaluates domestic packages with labels created in Stamps.com and similar postage applications. It checks that proper postage has been paid on packages based on several characteristics. When this system detects differences between the label and package, USPS issues postage adjustments for the affected shipment. These adjustments are then applied to your Stamps.com account.

Before APV, a package with insufficient postage was either returned to the sender - or worse - delivered with postage due, creating a terrible customer experience. Now, with APV, packages with insufficient postage will be delivered, and any postage due will be deducted from your account. Thus preventing delayed deliveries. Additionally, before APV, if you paid too much for postage, the USPS just kept the money. Now, any overpayment is credited back into your account.

How does APV work?

The APV scales and scanners at USPS processing centers automatically check each package for:

  • Weight

  • Dimensions

  • Mail Class

  • Packaging

  • Origin ZIP Code

  • Destination ZIP code

  • Postage paid

If the system discovers a discrepancy in the postage paid, either too little or too much, USPS will issue an adjustment, either a debit or credit, to your postal account balance in Stamps.com.

View APV Adjustments

To view the details of any APV adjustments made by USPS, you can go to:

  • The Reports tab: Any account balance adjustments are displayed in your Balances Report which lists all transactions related to your account.

  • The History tab: Any postage adjustments are displayed per shipment in the Print Details panel in the Services section. Adjustment amounts also appear in the grid in the Adj. Amount column.

USPS makes most APV adjustments within a few days of the package being shipped. However, some adjustments may take several weeks to appear in your account.

Disputing APV Adjustment Errors

To dispute an APV adjustment with USPS directly, send the following information in an email to VerifyPostageHelp@usps.gov:

  • The package tracking number.

  • The Adjustment ID associated with the adjustment.

  • Your reason or explanation for the dispute (please provide as much detail as possible).

USPS will contact you via email if they require more information. They will notify us once they reach a decision, and we will email you the results.

Find an Adjustment ID

You can find the Adjustment ID associated with a shipment in the History tab.

  1. Select the label for the adjustment you wish to dispute in the grid. This will reveal a panel containing all print details.

  2. Look for the Adjustment ID under the Services section in the Print Details panel.

    adjustment-id-v2.png

Notes about APV

A few additional things to know about the USPS APV system:

  • APV only applies to those domestic packages with a built-in tracking barcode created in Stamps.com or a similar postage application. APV does not apply to letters, large envelopes, or certified mail.

  • APV considers your specific rates when calculating how much postage should have been paid for a package. This includes, but is not limited to:

    • Commercial Pricing used by most of our customers

    • Cubic Pricing

    • Negotiated Service Agreement

    • Other discounted rate programs

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